Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2009

Section 5 Formulation and Implementation of ODA Policy

The ODA Charter specifies three sets of reform measures so that the assistance can be provided more efficiently and effectively. That is, the system for formulating and implementing aid policy, increasing public participation, and matters essential for effective implementation.

1. System for Formulation and Implementation of ODA Policy

(1) Coherent Formulation of Aid Policy

In Japan, the Cabinet Office and the 12 ministries and agencies (Note 48) are involved in development assistance. The Overseas Economic Cooperation Council, established in the Cabinet in April 2006, is chaired by the Prime Minister, while the Chief Cabinet Secretary, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry flexibly and practically deliberate important matters pertaining to overseas economic cooperation. To date, discussions have been held on such issues as how the Council should function, quantity and quality of ODA, country-specific (Asia, Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Central Asia and Caucasus, and Oceania) and cross-sectoral (assistance for improvement of legal systems, and food security) principles on overseas economic cooperation. The Overseas Economic Cooperation Council works closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)—a nucleus for policy planning and overall policy coordination—along with other ministries and agencies to ensure that ODA from each government agency is designed and executed coherently for strategic values and yields the maximum results.

At the International Cooperation Planning Headquarters, established under the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the International Cooperation Bureau and other bureaus including regional bureaus consult on such topics as international cooperation policy and formulating regional priority issues and priority objectives, working to plan ODA in a more effective manner while continuously confirming the role of ODA within the context of overall foreign policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' International Cooperation Bureau, set up in August 2006, comprehensively plans and drafts policies relating to assistance, while also playing a central role in coordination in the government.

In July 2009, an institutional reform was conducted in the International Cooperation Bureau in order to strengthen its policy planning and drafting functions for ODA. The Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation Division and Loan Aid Division, which oversaw aid modalities, were abolished and country-based planning divisions were strengthened. These efforts have allowed for providing assistance in a unified manner through three country-based planning divisions situated under the authority of the Development Assistance Policy Coordination Division. Also, in regards to bilateral and multilateral aid, collaborations are now made on a level higher than before, while efforts are underway to strengthen the strategic quality of international cooperation and implement effective aid.


(48) The Cabinet offices and 12 ministries and agencies mentioned here include the Cabinet Office; the National Police Agency; the Financial Service Agency; the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Finance; the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and the Ministry of the Environment.